Anjum Chopra played 127 ODIs, 12 Tests and 18 T20s for the Indian Women’s team © Getty Images
New Delhi: Apr 22, 2014
An Indian Premier League-style tournament will really uplift women’s cricket in India and prove to be a “huge hit”, former India skipper Anjum Chopra has said.
“An IPL-style tournament will really help women’s cricket in India. Especially because cricket is very popular in our country and in most parts of the world as well,” Anjum told PTI in an interview.
Asked about the success of such a women’s cricket league, Chopra said, “As a sportsperson and sportscaster and somebody who believes that sports is a way to go I believe it will be a huge hit, not only in India but anywhere in the world.”
She said her mantra is, “You are born to succeed, not to fail. So when a sport gets mass coverage and popularity at a wider scale and with many leagues in different sports now coming up only goes to show that sport in India is gaining popularity.”
Anjum, who is one of the most known faces in Indian women’s cricket, hailed cricket icon Sachin Tendulkar, saying he is the biggest name in cricket.
“When we say that he is the biggest then everybody becomes second, third, fourth,” she said.
On her inspiration for taking up cricket as a career option, she said male stars like Sunil Gavaskar and Kapil Dev, David Gower were the role models and her brother and uncle played the game in their backyard.
“So if today’s girl playing cricket idolises male stars then I don’t think there is a problem or any female should feel neglected. For the betterment and the growth of the sport it will be better to have role models in front of them and they can take a leaf out of their success and go a step higher,” said Anjum.
Commenting on India’s dismal performance at the ICC Women’s World T20 in Bangladesh, Anjum said that the players were not well prepared to take on the big teams. Lack of international exposure and playing less as compared to other international teams also limits the growth.
The veteran batswoman also opined that the team has to put in a lot of hard work to make an impact at the 2016 World Cup that will be hosted by India. It’s a great opportunity to play in home conditions and draw success.
Anjum, who is a veteran of 127 One Day Internationals (ODI), 12 Tests and 18 T20s, said that for the betterment of the Indian women’s cricket team, consistent efforts should be made to get the desired results at the international level.